Colleen Martin
Colleen Martin
Colleen Martin

Obituary of Colleen Martin

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It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Colleen Martin, a life long resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at the age of 58 years.  A private family Celebration of Life was held for Colleen. 

Colleen was born June 11, 1963, in Dawson Creek, BC to Anne and Dave Belziuk.  She was joined two years later on August 7, 1965, by her brother Sid, and quickly found her role as a big sister. The two went through all the normal childhood endeavours together.  One fond memory of her protector role as young kids was when Colleen and Sid were being pulled on toboggans behind the pickup on the Old Edmonton Highway.  Seemed like fun until it was time to stop.  Colleen continually reminded Sid to "make sure to duck if he slams on the brakes".  As the two grew older, her protector role continued.  When Sid got himself in some trouble at school, she was always quick to his defense, even throwing in a groin shot or two to an unsuspecting classmate.  As they grew up together, they took several trips with Anne and Dave and family members camping, not venturing too far from home.  Colleen had fond memories spending nearly every weekend at Oma and Opa's house.  Her love of cigars and Craven A Menthol started around that time, and even through the smell was enough to get you in trouble, Oma never said a word. 

 

In Grade 7, she was at a basketball game for the Parkhill School and saw a player from Crescent Park that caught her eye.  Little did you know that when she entered Frank Ross Secondary in Grade 8, that same basketball player showed up there.  The real romance started in Grade 9 when she took it upon herself to disturb my fountain water drink with a compliment that had something to do with my military style haircut.  In my defense, it was a requirement of the Sea Cadets to be eligible to go on a trip to Nova Scotia.  The exact words as I remember them were "I used to think you were cute... until you got this haircut".  That took some time to get over.  I knew she was beautiful, and I also knew that she was out of my league, or so I thought.  Not long after, my friend decided to ask her out, and she accepted.  At that point, I thought my chances were gone.  However, when he took her to the movie and tried to sneak a feel, that resulted in an elbow and a quick exit from the theatre, and he was off the list.  Very soon after that, I asked her out on a date, and she accepted.  It was a wonderful date. We ended up parked in front of her mom and dad's house in my 1969 Fairlane.  That was the first of uncountable kisses for me, and like everything else she was a really great kisser too, and I believe the words "I love you" were in the air that first day.  We were young love birds, navigating our lives through the last years of school together.  In 1981 we continued dating and accompanied each other to graduation.

 

Following graduation, we continued dating and got out as much as we could.  We were both busy with work, Colleen at the Coop and me at MacCosham's, and getting out into the real world.  After asking for Dave's permission, I had planned to ask for her hand in marriage on her birthday, June 11, 1983.  With her persistence, she continued to bug me for her present early, thinking that she was getting a decorative lamp.  Finally, I had to give in.  I told her to go downstairs into Sid's room and I would bring it down.  I went to the room and told her to close her eyes.  I was down on one knee and put the pearl shaped ring case in her hand.  When she opened her eyes and the case it lit her up like the sun, she was so happy.  I asked her for her hand in marriage and she graciously accepted my proposal. She was in amazement, as it actually fit too!  We both went upstairs to share the news with everyone, and they were very happy. 

 

Wedding plans started right away, and we bought our first house not long after.  Sid and I lived in the house until Colleen and I were married on July 14, 1984.  Life as a married couple began.  Ashlee was welcomed to the world on May 4, 1986.  Ryan followed on April 19, 1988.  Colleen's most important and fulfilling job began, being a mother.  We had our kids and decided that was the perfect family for us. 

As Ashlee and Ryan grew, Colleen enjoyed every moment of it.  She was able to teach them the skills that allow them to be the wonderful people that they are today.  She was a part of all extra curricular activities in the early days in their school, from being the lunch lady to volunteering and helping with school trips.  She had the most selfless approach to being a mother, always putting their needs well ahead of her own.  She was quick to offer any help that was needed at any time of the day or night. 

 

Ashlee was asked to think of one stand out thing that she could remember from her childhood, and that appeared to be an impossible task.  Apparently, the memories were amazing for her, and that is not a surprise to me.  And memories are really what it ends up being all about at times like this, all great and special.

 

Ryan can recall when he was a young boy, likely 7 or 8.  He woke up in the night after having a nightmare.  He grabbed his blanket, came into our bedroom to Colleen's side of the bed.  Not wanting to wake her up in a scare, he whispered "mom, are you awake?" repeatedly.  Little did he know, she was in a bit of a deep sleep and his presence with his blanket wrapped around him scared the crap out of her.  She woke up and the two screamed in fear at each other, then proceeded to laugh hysterically. Ryan proceeded to jump in the bed between us and fell fast a sleep in her arms.

 

Colleen had such a natural motherly instinct from day one, through all of the milestones--graduation, through their marriages and then onto her new favourite job, being a grandma.  It started with Alexa, soon after, Jase, Emery, Ryleigh and last but not least Finley.  Colleen had continued where she left off as a mother raising her kids and blessed these grandkids with her time and love.  She gave them the gift of her time, shared her joy of baking, coloring pictures and crafting, and loving them unconditionally.  As Alexa says, "whenever there was a problem, Grandma fixed it."  Grandma was someone they could always count on to be there for them through joys and tears.  She also made sure the treat drawer was always full of candy and of course, endless amounts of bubble gum. Most times the drawer could barely close!

Colleen could read a recipe, add some extra special ingredients, and the outcome was always delicious.  The home-made buns were a hit and her soup was how we were cured of the common cold, The cookies, always perfect and usually with added icing and sprinkles.  The great baking days involved her grand kids, who once the cookies, cakes or cupcakes cooled, they took over with the decorations, basically every available color that sprinkles were made of.  

 

This family was blessed to have an absolute shutter bug at every special event.  There are 10117 pictures on Colleen's phone right now, and each one of those are treasures to this family.  There were hundreds that encompassed the kids, grandkids, and of course the dogs.  Some of the amazing pictures were actually selfies, which became one of the ways that she used to put a smile on our faces using her beautiful brown eyes and an amazing smile that always lit up the room.  Her inner and outer beauty was always extremely photogenic!

Colleen remembered everyone’s birthdays, and there was always a special cake, decorations and usually pizza for the kids’ parties, and Chinese food for the adults, Christmas at Grandmas started right after remembrance day, and stayed on display until later December.  At last count we had 3 different trees and no less than 15 plastic totes that were full of different options based on her annual color choice.  Basically, the room was lit up, and the windows always covered in the vinyl stickers that let the neighbors know, and the grandkids learned to appreciate the excitement in the air when it was time for a visit or possibly even a sleep over.

 

One thing I think everyone that she knew can agree on is that Colleen will be dearly missed.  She was my best friend, companion, wife and advisor, and for our 37 + years of marriage, and 44 years that we were together it leaves our family and all who knew her to have to learn to live life without her by us.  Her life was cut way too short, and it is simply unfair.  However, Colleen wouldn't want us to be sad today.  She would want us to cherish and talk about the precious memories of her with a smile.  For we know, this is not goodbye, this is until we meet again...

For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Colleen to the SPCA South Peace Branch, 11418 3rd Street, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4L5, Canada.

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium

A Memorial Tree was planted for Colleen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
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